Barrett Martin Group (from the album Stillpoint, Sunyata Records/Sony Orchard) (by Chris Wheatley)
There's a lot to unpack with new release, Stillpoint, by musician and composer Barrett Martin, this being his tenth solo album. For a start, Stillpoint is not just album, but a part of a holistic work which also encompasses a book of short stories (Martin's third) of the same name. For those who don't know, Martin has a long and acclaimed line of credits as both producer and drummer, having appeared on albums by, among others, The Screaming Trees, R.E.M., Stone Temple Pilots and Queens of the Stone Age. He picked up a Latin Grammy Award for his work on the album Jardim-Pomar by the Brazilian artist, Nando Reis. Interestingly, Martin is also a practicing Zen Buddhist. Stillpoint was written and recorded between 2019-2020, at Martin's home in a remote cliff-top house inside a wildlife refuge between Washington State and British Columbia. This is an all-acoustic album, with Martin playing a variety of instruments, including piano, upright bass, vibraphone, drums, percussion, and ‘voice as a harmonic instrument’.
“A Roaring Sea” begins our journey, with rolling piano and cresting waves of cymbals. It's an immediately atmospheric and evocative listen, with some lovely trumpet by Martin over delicate splashes of vibraphone. Barrett Martin knows just how to build a track, and he wastes no time in plunging us into a vibrant sonic world. There's plenty going on here, but it is all nicely balanced, a moving aquarium of brightly-coloured ear-catching ‘fish’. This is a slick and accomplished work, built from deceptively simple melodies into something quite special.
“Please Come Back, She Said to the Sun” will remind you of the wonderful 'exotic' Jazz albums of the 70s. Martin conjures up a lush, glittering landscape of virgin jungle, sparkling rivers, and no little excitement. The track builds to a rushing, pulsing crescendo, but it is never less than joyful. As you might expect, the percussion element is wonderful, but so too are the delicate touches of trumpet, bass and vibes. There's lovely variety, also. “Waves Of Colour” is a bouncing delight. If you are at all a fan of the highly rhythmic, fluid adventures of McCoy Tyner's solo work, you will appreciate Martin's aesthetic. Indeed, Martin's voice does add a welcome humanity, subtle as it is.
Every track here plays its part. Just as a collection of short stories can (and ought to) vary in tone and weight, each with its own message, so too does Martin's collection of compositions. Underneath them all, however, is a unifying theme of smiling wonder and thoughtful love. Present too, is a breathtaking imagination. “Yellow Striped Spirit Snake” seems like the perfect title. You can imagine the beast in question, revered and unmatchable in its slinky dexterity, trailing through the long grass and flicking its tongue out to the sun. “Fierce Hawk”, by contrast, rattles and rustles and swoops on high, airy currents. Barrett Martin clearly revels in the myriad and magical forms of life surrounding his home. This includes, he says, bald eagles, ravens, hawks, screech owls, coyotes, raccoons, deer and bats. (by Chris Wheatley)
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PK Mayo (from the album Simple Search for Truth available as a self-release) (by Lee Zimmerman)
Given a title like Simple Search for Truth, one might expect some sort of revelatory statement. Yet names can be deceiving. In fact, Mayo’s own handle serves as a nom de plume, given the fact he was born one Paul K. Mayasich. Based in the midwestern environs of Minneapolis/St. Paul, PK Mayo plied his skills for the better part of three decades, but also makes it a point to proclaim his new album as the most fully realized effort of his career.
That said, the new album offers a lesson in basic Blues, driven by Mayo’s stellar slide guitar riffs and the steady support of a band that includes John Wright on bass, Steve Lehto on second guitar and mandolin, and Noah Levy playing drums and percussion. Certain songs — “Blues and Me”, “It Ain’t Workin’ for Me No More”, “Truth”, and the instrumental outlay “You Don’t Know Jack” — adhere to that bluesy template, given a simple shuffle and a regimented workout that rocks with deep resolve. However, the more intriguing offerings come in the form of those numbers that find PK Mayo and company digging into a deeper emotional expanse, while slowing the tempo and allowing for more of a hint of wistful reflection. Closing track “Solace” is an ideal example, a weary ballad that confronts the sorrow of being left alone and inconsolable. The slow, steady stride of “Road of Love” allows for some soulful dedication and outward expression. On the other hand, “Somewhere Between You and I” offers an uplifting paean to hope and optimism. “Things will never be the same now that all our memories change,” Mayo sings, sharing the need to adjust and adapt with changing circumstance. It’s a sad song in a sense, but given its honesty and emotion, it’s affecting nonetheless.
Ultimately, Simple Search for Truth becomes more of a personal quest than a broader statement of fact. At only eight songs long, it’s a more or less abbreviated attempt at that. Yet, at the same time, it’s a comprehensive effort that fully reflects Mayo’s abilities and intents, and in that regard a little more PK Mayo would always be welcome. (By Lee Zimmerman)
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Sam Outlaw (from the album Popular Mechanics available on Black Hills Recordings) (by Bryant Liggett)
Hype from some press circles is labeling Sam Outlaw a Country dude, and that’s somewhat accurate. Catch a glimpse of him on the cover of his latest Popular Mechanics where he is decked out in quasi western-wear and you’ll further be taken home down that Country-road. Yet solely labeling him as ‘Country’ sells the man short, as his latest has a modern pulse via a new wave touch that stands tall above any Rootsy sounds, a surprise, and welcome addition, to the sounds pumped out of East Nashville.
A punchy synthesizer drives the title track; pull out that synth and you’ve got a Roots Rock driver, but it’s that synth that puts in the 1980’s. Sam Outlaw nails the ballads in “Sun Ain’t Set” and “Stay the Night”, kicks out a mid-tempo Roots cuts in “For the Rest of Our Lives” and has some pulsing Indie Folk tunes in “Bad Enough” and “Daydreaming”.
The most Country cut of the bunch is “Polyamorous”, a tune that lives somewhere between modern, dreamy Folk, and New Country. Country music has taken on some new definitions, and Sam Outlaw takes some welcome liberties for his sound. With some AM-gold and Indie Rock, 80’s jangle and new-wave, Outlaw’s not likely looking to be categorized anywhere but in the play category. And he gets there with Popular Mechanics, a Country-not so Country record where you’ll find something for everyone. (by Bryant Liggett)
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Robert Plant and Alison Krauss (from Raise the Roof on Rounder Records) (by Lee Zimmerman)
Its title aside, Raise the Roof is a somewhat calmer affair than the duo’s debut. Plant has clearly acquiesced to Krauss’ laidback approach, solidifying the easy affinity the pair shared on Raising Sand, their surprisingly seductive debut. Time spent in Austin, Texas with former mate Patty Griffin apparently indoctrinated him even further into to those homespun environs, but then again, Plant’s always professed his admiration for such iconic American artists as Tim Buckley, Love, and Moby Grape. The fact that he was able to further nurture that fascination no doubt opened the door to indulging in some less turbulent trappings.
As a result, Robert Plant shows a tendency to tone down his trademark wail, maintaining a decided even-handed sense of sobriety that’s well in keeping with country comforts and a casual caress. The arrangements themselves are similarly subdued, especially when it comes to such songs as “Quattro (World Drifts In)”, “Going Where the Lonely Go”, and “The Price of Love”, each of which finds an ethereal ambiance holding sway. Producer T-Bone Burnett appears intent on infusing all these entries with more of a cerebral sensibility, a sound that requires the listener to patiently abide by the pair’s unhurried intents. That said, “Go Your Way” and the raga-like “You Led Me to the Wrong” are well worth the indulgence, the shimmering textures and contemplative mindset underscoring the soothing sound that dominates the album overall. Alison Krauss and Robert Plant find themselves naturally in sync, and even when they pick up the pace, as in the steady groove of “Trouble with My Lover”, “Somebody Was Watching Over Me”, and “Can’t Let Go”, the hushed harmonies are well controlled as opposed to a sound that’s overly effusive.
In some regards, the reserved tonality makes it difficult to discern any particular stand-out selection. The music morphs into a hazy sort of drift overall, given that the two singers forego any attempt at making a more emphatic impression. It’s all about careful control. Nevertheless, Raise the Roof succeeds in providing a pleasant pastiche, an exercise in easy, flowing nocturnal nuance. In that regard, Raise the Roof makes for more of a grounding experience. (By Lee Zimmerman)
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Adam Hattaway & The Haunters (from the album Rooster as a self-release) (by Bryant Liggett)
You can pack in a lot when your record has 22 tracks. That’s enough audio space to display the full swath of Roots Rock, from lazy Folk Rock tunes to ballads to Blues-influenced, mid-tempo Rockers, subtle twangers, and fun sing-a-longs. It’s what Adam Hattaway & The Haunters pulls off on their latest Rooster, a waste no space, cram your listening and writing musical influences into a one record blast that hits at all of the above genres while never letting one style display more than the next. A textbook taste of Americana.
Adam Hattaway & The Haunters open with a weeper, the line ‘back in jail, again’ introducing a weepy piano ballad, while cuts like “Riding the River” and “It’s Too Late” have a bit of jangle. There’s Country dripped onto “Honor Lee” and “The Only Game in Town”, the former delivered with a subtle yodel, the latter ready for honky tonk two-stepping. “It’s Hard” is straight up Blues, “It’s Too Late” comes with a Bobby Keys inspired Rock’n’Roll sax solo, and “Blood Moon” is a anthem for a drunken campfire call and response singalong. “Mama, You Made a Drinker” is a song for fellow drinkers. The star in the 22-song epic is the title track. “Rooster” is a rowdy one packed into 35-seconds , driven by a locomotive drum rhythm and Country stunt guitar. Adam Hattaway & The Haunters bang out a big one, the fun in the listening is the musical meandering from up-beat to mellow and back again, delivered in a fun, never take yourself to seriously display.
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Stash (from the album Stash (Walk the Walk) available on Ted Russell Kamp/PoMo Records) (by Lee Zimmerman)
Stash could be considered a supergroup of sorts. The trio consists of drummer and co-producer Joey Peters (formerly of Grant Lee Buffalo and Cracker), bassist, singer, and co-producer Ted Russell Kamp (a member of Shooter Jennings’ band and a superb solo artist in his own right) and guitarist, mandolin player, keyboardist, and co- producer Rich McCulley. All astute rockers in their own right but as a combined unit they vary the template to enough of a degree where exact categorization is a difficult thing to define.
Given their outlaw attitude — as evidenced by songs such as “Sweet Salvation of the Dawn”, “Catch Me If You Can”, and “Ain’t That Kind of Man” — they frequently purvey a dark and defiant Everyman persona, one with a distant kinship to Waylon Jennings, Haggard, and Kristofferson in their sulking, slightly sinister point of view. So too, the swaying ballad “By Your Side” shows that sentiment is sometimes imbued into their overall attitude.
Still, in listening to the band’s debut, Walk the Walk, one gets the feeling that there’s really no need to dig any deeper. The driving rhythms and resolute riffing more or less frame a harder edge, as revealed through edgier entries like “Smoke and Mirrors”, “Catch Me If You Can”, “You’re the One”, and “One Track Mind”. In fact, one would be hard pressed not to come to the conclusion that Stash is one rollicking ensemble, any kind of stoic stance aside.
That said, the best track the album has to offer is “Into the Sunset”, a deliberate and decisive entry that gets to the core of their insurgent attitude. It offers the impression that indeed, Stash rock with a purpose, even if they’re forced to adjust their efforts while making their presence known.
Hopefully, this threesome will make more time outside their individual outings to further develop their combined sound and synergy. If so, then Walk the Walk might mark the starting point of a journey that’s yet to reach its conclusion. Further endeavors will hopefully find them honing in on a definitive sound, and gleaning more from the reservoir where this particular Sash was brewed. (By Lee Zimmerman)
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Memphissippi Sounds (from the album Welcome to the Land available on Little Village Records) (by Bryant Liggett)
This is music that’s cool with a capital C. Memphissippi Sounds is gutsy, raw, and heavily Blues-based. The regional reference in the name describes the players; Damion Pearson from Memphis, TN, and Cameron Kimbrough (grandson of Junior Kimbrough) from the Mississippi Hill Country. Their latest, Welcome to the Land extends well beyond Beale Street and the Mississippi Delta, adding Chicago Blues, Detroit Garage Funk, and the ‘Chocolate City’ vibe of Parliament/Funkadelic. Welcome to the land is tough, trance-inducing, and overflowing with groove.
Memphissippi Sounds kick off with Boogie, “Whose Gonna Ride” repeating the phrase ‘whose gonna ride, whose gonna ride with me?’ over chugging guitar and harmonica. They can also slow things down. “Groove with Me” and “You Got the Juice” are horizontal boogie tunes. “Go Downtown” and “High & Low” are a couple of slow-burners with a dash of gritty Psychedelia, “Saturday Morning” a soulful, R&B groover.
Fast or slow, this music is delivered loose. Grooves are created around rubbery riffs and a harmonica driving the rhythm. Jim Dickinson and sons would reference the ‘world boogie is coming’ groove out of North Mississippi for Welcome to the Land. Memphissippi Sounds carries the torch, excelling at laying down loose, good time, repetitive rhythms through both slow burners and boogie bumpers ripe for a universal dance floor, handcrafted for juke joints. (by Bryant Liggett)
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My Morning Jacket (from the album My Morning Jacket on ATO Records) (by Lee Zimmerman)
Over the course of a nearly 25-year career, My Morning Jacket have made a steady transition, from Indie Rock darlings to a band that now teeters on the fringes of mass appeal appreciation. Singer, songwriter, and erstwhile helmsman Jim James has always demonstrated his ongoing ambitions, driving the band to pursue an imaginative tack flush with anthemic imagery, engaging revelry, and emotional engagement, borne through songs, that at times, literally seem to soar. They’ve never floundered in that quest, ensuring no shortage of aural intrigue, and although it’s been some six years since their last outing, 2015’s The Waterfall, there’s apparently been no dry spell in terms of their desire or delivery.
Like all the albums that have preceded it, this eponymous effort requires the listener to dive deeper into these intriguing soundscapes and experience the subtleties that often reside just below the surface. So while certain songs — “Never in the Real World”, “I Never Could Get Enough”,“Out of Range, Pt. 2”, “The Devil’s in the Details”, and “In Color” in particular — reflect a sense of studied contemplation. Other offerings, such as “Love Love Love”, “Penny for Your Thoughts”, “Complex”, and “Least Expected”, maintain a heightened feeling of edginess and agitation that still manage to maintain the momentum.
Still, there are tracks that sustain the overall intrigue without finding need to sacrifice agility or accessibility. “Lucky To Be Alive” is the most obvious of those, an unusually upbeat attempt at sharing some unabashed optimism. “Regularly Scheduled Programming” opens the album with a searing, stratospheric delivery that literally seems to spill out over the edges and reaffirm the auditory experience that’s such an essential part of the My Morning Jacket motif.
Newcomers to the fold may be a bit bewildered at first by the push and pull of messaging and emotion. Clarity isn’t always apparent, and Jim James makes little attempt to distinguish between feelings of turmoil and tranquility. Nevertheless, it’s that cerebral sensibility that makes My Morning Jacket the intriguing ensemble they are. Perhaps this signals the dawn of a new My Morning Jacket. (By Lee Zimmerman)
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With a New Greatest Hits That’s Not Quite a Greatest Hits, Bruce Cockburn Relishes His Reflection
By Lee Zimmerman
In a career that spans fifty years, there’s little that Bruce Cockburn has yet to achieve. His list of accolades alone is enough to single him out for distinction — among them, 13 Juno Awards, an induction into both the Canadian Music Hall of Fame and the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame, the Governor General’s Performing Arts Award, and his naming as an Officer of the Order of Canada. The 34 albums he’s recorded over the course of that half century make it clear why those honors are so well deserved, but they also testify to the near impossibility of distilling those recordings down as far as the forthcoming double-disc Bruce Cockburn’s Greatest Hits (1970-2020) due to arrive courtesy of his longtime record label True North on December 3, 2021. Nevertheless, the timing is significant. The next day he’s due to be accorded yet another honor, induction into Canada’s Walk of Fame in Toronto.
‘It was supposed to be a gala ceremony’ Cockburn notes. ‘Now it's going to be virtual. I'm not quite sure what that means’.
Despite whatever disappointment may lurk given the make-up of the event, Cockburn’s overall enthusiasm hasn’t waned. Now a resident of San Francisco, he’s looking forward to getting back out on the road for what he’s euphemistically dubbed his ‘2nd Attempt Tour’, a victory lap to mark his half century anniversary after its cancellation due to covid.
The Alternate Root recently had an opportunity to talk with Cockburn on the eve of the anthology’s release for a wide-ranging discussion about his art, his activism and his reasons for still making music.
With 50 years worth of recordings, it must have been a tough choice to narrow it all down.
I'm not sure whose concept it was, but it seemed like a good one. It might have been the record company’s, but they wanted an album called Greatest Hits. Of course, calling all these songs ‘hits’ is a little bit of a stretch. But they were all intended to be hits. That’s what made it simple. We chose all the songs that were singles that we that we ended for radio over the years. That made it quite a simple choice really. One or two things that could have been in there might have gotten left out, but basically it was just that. It's like so many per decade.
I would think a lot simpler rather than having to go through and select favorite album tracks.
Yes, and then fighting with each other over whose best stuff would dominate. In the end, that would likely be mine. But there's always good discussions to be had. So that was all avoided by just going with the singles. To me, the merit of that is that for the most part, those are songs that people audiences find and they can relate to easily. They're not the only ones. I get requests for much more complex songs than the ones that ended up on this collection. In general, they’re the songs that people come to the shows hoping to hear. And so it makes sense to put it all out like that as a package.
You also had a commemorative tour planned, did you not?
We were we were supposed to be celebrating my 50 years of recording and last year of course, those celebrations were put on hold. So now we're gonna be touring with the second attempt at the 50th anniversary tour.
It’s a great name. ‘The Second Attempt’.
Well, everybody can relate to that at this point. It seemed like a smart idea at the time.
Do you ever look back in awe at the fact that you've been able to maintain such a prolific stance for over 50 years, and that you're still doing it.
‘Awe’ isn’t exactly the word I'd use, but I certainly do have gratitude. You know, yes, it is kind of amazing. If anybody had asked me when I started out, I wouldn't have much of an answer. Anything beyond 20 years would have seemed kind of implausible. But, but here we are. It’s just what happens when you don't die?
I guess in the beginning, there was no way to know that it would evolve the way it's evolved. When you made those early recordings, were you just thinking about tit one album at a time?
That's really as far as I took it. And as far as I still take it, actually.
This career of yours has continued to unfold and evolve. The early albums were in that folky sort of vein, but then you quickly accelerated and got very direct in the messaging that you were sharing, what with the activism and, shall we say, the outrage, “If I had a Rocket Launcher” is an amazing song. It doesn't hold back, shall we say.
It didn't come out of nowhere. It came out of a very specific set of circumstances, but that reaction for me was so raw.
So how did your writing tend to evolve early on? Were you becoming more aware of wanting to make a statement?
It's hard for me to see it in general terms like that. Each song has its own backstory, I suppose you could say that over time, yes, there was certainly an evolution. There were other songs that we thought were worth sharing with people that ended up on the first couple of albums. The stuff I started out writing was derivative, just kind of all anything that I wasn't very fussy about . But then I started giving more depth to the lyrics and it became a bit psychedelic and kind of unfolded over time. Later the focus became one of a spiritual approach and that's an ongoing theme that runs through all of my tracks really. In the old days, it was expressed in terms of the imagery of nature and the ways of relating to nature. Then it became more about activism in the form “Rocket Launcher”.
Was there like a certain point, an ‘aha’ moment where you said to yourself, I want to switch the focus and go in a different direction in order to bring in elements that maybe I hadn't before?
There were little things like that, little occasions, but not really major ones. Like I said, it was mostly it's one song at a time. I was getting typecast, and I found it extremely irritating. So, I wanted to make an album that sounded more like a city record. So, I got a band, I played some electric guitar here and there and got quite a different feel. It turned out to be a popular move. That was one of those moments, but it kind of in reaction to that typecasting.
So, what was the reaction like?
I was freaked out by it. I was used to coffee house audiences that sat there in a kind of reverent state. They never really responded very much. So, to have people actually hooting and hollering was like, ‘Oh, my God, I’ve got to stop this’. So, I went the other way, and made an album called Salt, Sun and Time, which basically was minimalist, just guitars and voice. Most of the record was a couple of other bits and pieces, here and there, but it had the effect that I wanted, to dampen everything down. Nobody was that interested in it, but over time, it stands up. There's one song on that one, “All the Diamonds” which is one of those songs that people have attached themselves to, along with a couple of other things. So, when you asked about aha moments, there were those, but they were reactive. It wasn't like me discovering something. I was in the process of reacting, discovering things. The Humans album would be the next one of those moments, but not with respect to any individual song. It just seemed very different from the album before it. That was really the culmination of the ‘70s, I suppose. Humans did seem to be starting out in a new direction, but I didn't spend any time thinking about what that might be. It just was clear that it might be that and, and Humans seemed like a good title. As it turned out, it fits the whole decade rather well.
These albums that you're that you're mentioning seemed to raise the bar, whether consciously or not consciously. Did you feel like you were raising the bar? Was there a point where you said to yourself, I have to make these statements, I can't retreat, I have to give them what they want?
You have to remember that at one point a long time ago, in the aftermath of the Cultural Revolution in China, as horrible as that was in a way, the concept of having a periodic revolution was a worthwhile idea. It also applies on the personal level, perhaps even better than it does on the social or political level. You just need to shake yourself up every now and then and not be complacent, and not settle into habitual ways of doing things. So, for me, that has happened every now and then. Sometimes they've been associated with the breakup of relationships, sometimes with travel, sometimes with sort of spiritual insight. And where it relates to your question is that people create these expectations for themselves. I was getting typecast as the ‘back-to-nature guy’, or as something else I got for a while. I was a Christian singer, quote/unquote, and people who weren't comfortable with that, as it turned out, mostly they stuck around. And then, you know, with the release of Stealing Fire, I became a political singer, quote/unquote. And some people didn't like that. So other people were drawn to that and really liked it. And that actually really expanded my own audience all around the world, or at least the part of the world that I get to travel in. But then there was the danger of being typecast as a political singer.
That’s too narrow a focus for an artist like yourself.
TV will not deal with me, especially in the United States, because they think I'm ugly. I'm too political. On the other hand, that's only a small part of what I've done over the course my career. But if it seems to prevent people from seeing past that, if they if they don't like that, then it seems it's hard for them to see past it. And there's nothing much I can do about that, except, be me, and carry on and do what I do so. So that's what I do.
Well, maybe, just maybe, with this greatest hits album, that view will change and allow people to really see who you are. For those people who are less familiar with your deeper catalogue, it's going to be a good initial overview. The fact is that you are an extremely diverse artist. You have a real-world view. And with three dozen or something albums, there’s a lot to absorb.
If I meet somebody who doesn't know my stuff, and they say, what should I check out first?, I don't know what to tell them after 33 albums or however many it is. I'm not sure what we're up to now. They've all got good songs on them. If I think they like the acoustic stuff, I would steer them one way, but with my live show, I’ve got a cross section of material from different categories and different times. It's a pretty good representation of what I have to offer in a solo context. There are some live bands that I have had, but they're not really that representative of what I was doing with my current band. Then again, I'm not touring with the band right now anyway, so it doesn't matter. I guess my live albums are a way to get around having to steer people in any certain direction. Still, it might be nice if if the greatest hits were really considered the greatest hits.
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NRBQ (from the album Dragnet on Omnivore Records (by Lee Zimmerman) For a group boasting a collective career that spans more than 55 years and nearly 50 studio albums, live discs, and comprehensive compilations, NRBQ remains all but ignored in the annals of American music. That may be due to the difficulty that comes with trying to define them, given that their repertoire touches on practically every genre that lies within the realms of modern music, including Rock, Ragtime, Blues, Jazz, Pop, Country, and nearly everything else that lies in-between. A well-versed ensemble in every discernible sense, their diversity and versatility offer ample reason for wider recognition.
Despite multiple changes in personnel — piano player Terry Adams remains the sole remaining member of the original line-up, while the rest of the group boast an average tenure of just under a decade — NRBQ more or less hews to its original template. Dragnet, their first full album of original material in seven years, finds them exploring the same varied touchstones as before, with “Where’s My Pebble” opting for pure Pop, “That Makes Me a Fool” delving into cocktail and cabaret, “I Like Her So Much” sharing a hint of twang, and “You Can’t Change People” boasting a Beach Boys-like sheen. So too, every song moves at a different pace, from the easy lilt of “The Moon and Other Things” to the easy saunter of “Miss Goody Two Shoes”, the double-time delivery of “Five More Miles” and the ticktock tempo accorded “L-O-N-E Lone-ly”, its mournful melody rife with self-pity. Consequently, there’s no clear definition in terms of the overall tone or tempo, thwarting any attempt at discerning NRBQ’s evasive identity.
It’s doubtful, then, that Dragnet will bring this band the greater fame and following that’s eluded them so long. (So too, it speaks volumes that the group photo gracing the back cover has them draped in shadows, further obscuring their identity.) Still, the fact that they persevere speaks volumes as far as their instincts and ability. If ever there was an outfit worthy of greater regard and respect, NRBQ provides the perfect pedigree. (By Lee Zimmerman)
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